2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.
The Republicans have long been anti-science and pro-corporation and it shows in their voting record, the fact that they put industry insiders in key posts in government agencies like the EPA and their incredibly stupid efforts at promoting conservation; Donald Trump’s recommendation at raking forests during the California wildfires a few years ago comes to mind. Which reminds us of Dubya’s promotion of his Healthy Forest Initiative which promotes the logging industry logging the hell out of forests. Hey, if there are no trees left, you can’t have wildfires, right? This article comes from our July 17, 2003 issue.
Bush Proposes New Healthy Forest Initiative
In response to the devastating wildfires in the western United States, President Bush has come up with a new Healthy Forest Initiative designed to reduce future forest fires.
“The idea behind this plan is that we thin the forests so that there are maybe ten or twelve trees per square mile. Maybe even less. That way, if a fire does start, no trees will burn. Forests can’t burn if there are no trees around. See, it’s a healthy forest. It’s a win-win for everyone. It’s a win for the economy. The logging industry will need more lumer . . . lumerber . . . log guys to cut down the trees. More workers will be needed to build the roads for the log guys. This will open up new areas of housing development and enable people to build houses safely in the forest without having to worry about losing their house in case of a fire.”
Mike Scoggins from the Sierra Club then asked, “What about all the wildlife that will be displaced by the thinned forest, new roads and new housing? Where are they going to go?”
President Bush shook his head and said, “People! That’s what zoos are for. All the animals can stay in zoos where we can manage them better. I’m tight with God and it’s his plan that all plants and animals obey their masters! Us!”
Bush then added, “Supporting this initiative is the American thing to do! You Sierra Club lima beans obviously must be for the terrorists!”
Homeland Security agents then rushed Scoggins and lead him away to a detention area for questioning and a good pummeling.
We’re environmentalists and science enthusiasts here at the Bucket and we’ve harped time and time again about how we need to the put Earth’s health first in economical decisions because there is no other planet we know of that supports life. Capitalist economies have protected the destructive fossil fuel and mining industries and now with climate change wreaking havoc on our planet’s ecosystems the lives of every living creature in is peril.
There’s an excellent video posted recently on YouTube by BigThink featuring astronaut Ron Garan that states this case beautifully. “We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That’s when we’re going to continue our evolutionary process,” Garan concludes.
In this season of peace on Earth, watch the video and reflect on how fragile our planet is and how important it is that we protect it.
The coronavirus pandemic rages on with over 1.4 million cases in the U.S. and over 88 thousand deaths (that’s almost 30 9/11s folks). And yet, many states, like Wisconsin, have decided that it doesn’t matter that the curve hasn’t flattened yet in the U.S., the economy must be restarted, damn the consequences. The gods of greed on Wall Street must be sated and stock prices must climb no matter how many people become sick and die. Money, money, money! Greed, greed, greed!
We’ve commented many times about the hypocrisy of right-wing, conservative, christian Republicans who proclaim their love of Jesus but in the same breath advocate the ramblings of Ayn Rand, who taught the gospel of greed: greed is a good thing; who cares about community; promote yourself constantly, to hell with all others; I got mine, screw you. We’ve got evangelical hucksters preaching the prosperity gospel. Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, professed to be a catholic but at the same time admired Rand. But Rand’s philosophy is the exact opposite of Jesus’ teachings as this linked article points out. Rand promoted being selfish where Jesus said that being selfless and caring about your fellow man is the way to live your life.
Now we’re atheists here at the Bucket, so at first glance one might think we’d be in Rand’s corner, since she was atheist, too. But we’re also non-materialistic environmentalists. We need to live in harmony with our environment. We advocate the ‘simplify, simplify’ mantra of Henry David Thoreau. We also live our lives according to the golden rule, which is completely in line with the teachings of Jesus. We’re absolutely anti-greed and anti-corporation and call out the conservative christian Republican hypocrites who see no problem promoting both Rand and Jesus.
The grand problem for today’s christians is that they’ve been brainwashed by our capitalistic overlords that socialism is a bad thing when in actuality, Jesus’ teachings were socialistic. Unfortunately, our brand of capitalism has taken root throughout the civilized world and it’s taken the coronavirus pandemic to show how utterly cruel, empty, unethical, immoral, corrupt, depraved, inhumane and unchristian modern day capitalism is. Greed is not good!If humans have to sacrifice themselves at the altar of capitalism so the economy can function, then maybe we should look to another economic system like socialism to keep our civilization sane, wise and healthy.
But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walked the walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.
A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page.We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.
But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.
But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth?We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.
Part of the problem is that capitalism has taken over the globe. In order for capitalism to succeed, it needs rampant consumption by consumers. Of course, these leads to a rampant increase in junk, garbage and debris. With lax environmental laws, people can just dump their stuff anywhere. Our planet is being inundated with plastics, electronic waste and garbage of all types. So in other words, unregulated capitalism is killing our planet.
Like we’ve commented before, what makes this so aggravating is that so many conservatives are somehow against conservation. How can that be? They didn’t use to be. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt supported some of our most powerful environmental laws. Richard Nixon established the EPA and signed the Endangered Species Act into law. By the very definition of the word, they should be all for conserving resources, wildlife and nature. Modern day conservative Republicans, led by the Trump administration, are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the environment.
There are many good environmental sites out there. The Kiwireport has a pictorial of shocking pictures of environmental destruction covering the globe. Warning: some pictures are extremely disturbing, especially if you love wildlife and nature. We’ve used a few in our photo-toon below. We urge people to wake up and support fully conservation efforts in your region. Like the environmentalists say: think globally, act locally. The health and welfare of Earth, the only planet we know of that supports life, depends on it.
If you’ve read any post or articles on this site, you know that we’re atheists. Our world view is solidly connected to a 21st century database of logic, reason and scientific knowledge obtained by thorough scientific methods and inquiry. Adherents to religion on the other hand, seem solidly connected to 1st century, 6th century or x century databases that may have made sense in those antiquated times, but given our advanced knowledge of the universe surrounding us, are now woefully obsolete.
Proponents of religion also claim that only they have the answers to life’s questions. Inevitably it boils to certain individuals in the upper echelons of the religious organizations who want to completely control their adherents or sheeple. History has many examples of bloody wars between adherents of one ‘faith’ disagreeing with followers of another leaving nothing but death and scorched earth behind. Many religions state that God made man in his image and that God created the Earth with man as ruler over all other animals. This directly conflicts with scientific evidence uncovered in the last three hundred years which concludes that man created God (or Odin or Zeus or Iron Man. . .pick you favorite fictitious deity) in his image and has used God and capitalism to commandeer and take control of the planet for fun and profit. Even the authoritarian dictator Napoleon commented that “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” That’s why there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there making a killing off of the gullible sheeple. There’s also a link between religion and vaccine refusal. So people are dying unnecessarily because the religious leaders are telling their flock to trust prayer (basically thinking good thoughts) over science.
We’ve talked before that the best spaceship is our own planet. We need to stop being greedy materialists and live within our means. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify”. We need to listen to modern day scientists. They know what they’re talking about. We need to attenuate our consumption and more importantly reduce the human population using the ethical means of birth control and contraception. By doing this, we can lessen our carbon footprint, decrease our pollution and in general, return the planet to a healthy equilibrium. Ridding ourselves of the antiquated dogmas of religion and embracing environmental science will also go a long way to preserving all life on planet Earth.
So why are the Republicans throwing hissy fits and temper tantrums over AOC and her bold environmental plan? Because the Republicans are lackeys for the fossil fuel industries: coal, oil, gas and mining. These corporations, who don’t give a rat’s patoot about the environment only want to continue their profitable ride on the gravy train. Their industries have been undisputed kings of the world since the late 19th century. They’ve got money and power and they’ll be damned if they’re going to lose their empire to clean renewable energy. That’s why the appointment of former fossil fuel industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as head of the EPA has been greeted so favorably by the smokestack and tailpipe suckers; he’s one of them. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. In short; the chickens(us) are doomed. Hence, all the attacks on AOC and the Green New Deal.
We have no doubt that the kingpins of pollution and environmental destruction will promote Trump as a noble capitalist on a quixotic quest to rid the world of these horrible, energy efficient, evil, killer windmills and their dastardly queen, AOC. It fits right in with the insane, right wing narrative that Trump is somehow making America great again. Perhaps a movie is forthcoming? We present below what that blockbuster may look like.
Don Quixote Trump: The fossil fuel companies send noble capitalist and stable genius Donald Trump on a quest to save their dying, inefficient industries. Trump, together with his EPA stooge Sancho Scienza (played by Andrew Wheeler) and God (played by Mike Pence) battle the Evil Windmill Queen (played by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and try to destroy her vast, horrible, energy efficient windmill army. Rated R for Regressive.
The Trump administration’s assault on the environment continues to go unabated. We’ve commented several times on the Republican’s War on Science, so much so that we’ve created a category for it. But Scott Pruitt continues to dismantle our environmental protections, all to benefit the greed of oil, gas, coal, lumber, mining and other companies which have bought the loyalty of Republican ‘lawmakers’. Why this past week, Pruitt’s EPA announced it wants to lower gas efficiency standards for automobiles not only because that extra care and concern about the environment is cutting into the corporate executives profit too much but also because President Obama put them into place. And they’re auctioning off federal land for oil and gas development. Our capitalistic overlords are using up resources, killing species and fouling our environment like we’ve got a Planet B ready to travel to when we’ve completely trashed our own precious Earth. But guess what…there is no planet B!
One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds, Stephen Hawking recently passed away. We here at the Bucket liked Hawking, but editor Dex Rexter, who used to be a huge supporter of human space colonization (with memberships in the Planetary Society and the L5 society), after years of research on the subject, profoundly disagrees with many scientists, including Hawking and Bill Nye, who are calling for immediate human colonization of Mars and outer space. Yes, it would be fun to play Star Trek or Star Wars and zip around the universe in a spaceship. But to seriously consider extended space travel or colonization, we have to develop artificial gravity spaceships first. The best way to do this is the way the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey did it: using a rotating wheel. The astronauts would experience centripetal acceleration, which would mimic the gravitational force humans need for normal activity. But we’re not even close to developing anything of that sort, which would be a colossal endeavor financially, not to mention logistically. And let’s say we actually get humans to Mars. We would have to completely terraform the surface and atmosphere to make it inhabitable: another gargantuan undertaking.
Like Buckminster Fuller stated a half century ago, we need to look at the big picture and see the Earth as what is it: a spaceship with all living things on the planet as inhabitants of the spaceship. Instead of continuing to befoul and pollute our planet like there’s no tomorrow, it is paramount that every human on Earth, to take action and conserve our planet. It’s necessary for people in the industrial, capitalistic countries to start eschewing materialism and living more simply, like the people in lesser industrialized countries, if we are to save our planet…and ourselves.
The bottom line is this: We will never find a better spaceship than planet Earth. It has everything we need to survive and live happy, peaceful, wonderful lives. The best, most efficient solution is not to put humanity out into the hostile environs of space or on a desolate planet like Mars, but for everyone to change our lifestyles and preserve the already spectacular life on our home planet: Earth.
Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let’s start taking care of our own spectacular planet.
Continuing our review of lame AZ public figures and issues…
A special election is coming up here in Arizona on May 17,2016 that deals with the funding of Arizona’s woeful education system. This article at DailyKos explains the issue better than we could. The Republicans is this state have been trying since forever to release all that public land so private interests(land developers) can make money on it. So it’s perfectly natural that privatization fans, a.k.a. Republicans hold Arizona’s children as hostage – “fork over your precious land or the kids get it!” The answer to a better education is solved by increasing the corporate tax or just raising taxes. But corporate, business and private interests are of primary importance here in the land of the Republican wingnuts and taxes are a four letter word. Which is why corporate friendly tools, like Governor Ducey, are so actively trying to pull this fraud on Arizonans. Like the article at DailyKos says, it’s a bit dubious that all the slick, special, private, monied interests support Prop 123 and all the regular folks, who aren’t so richly backed, are saying nay. Just another day in the clusterf*cked state of Arizona politics. At least we’ve got beautiful scenery…er…ummm…maybe not for much longer. Happy Earth Day everyone?
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (pronounced douchey) declares that the only ‘reasonable’ way to save Arizona’s abysmal education system is to sell off the land to ‘private interests’ a.k.a. developers and industry.
From the Unfreakingbelievable file: it appears a goddamn, greedy mega-developer thinks the timeless grandeur of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is lacking. That’s obviously because there’s no Mega-mall there where you can shop ’til you drop! Yes, this colossal asswipe wants to place a mega-development at the edge of the Grand Canyon. We don’t know where to begin on describing how ludicrously stupid this is. Seriously, if you’re going to the Grand Canyon and you expect to find unlimited shopping opportunities, then you are a special kind of seriously f*cked up! Most people go the Grand Canyon to GET AWAY FROM development and enjoy nature and wildlife at its most basic. If they want cheezy, glitzy shopping opportunities then they go to Las Vegas. Maybe these greedy, capitalist, dickhead developers can make a replica of the Grand Canyon in Las Vegas just like they did with Paris, New York and Egypt. Las Vegas is where this kind of stupidity belongs. When it comes to the Grand Canyon, we have just three words to say to developers: LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!
A noble, American hunter prepares to thin the herd of greedy, rapacious, land developers.